App will help us all support local fishers

LIVING on the Eyre Peninsula it would be fair to say most people know a fisherman and more often than not, know where the fish they are eating has come from.

So it is strange to think there are people out there who eat fish without ever knowing at the very least what part of the country it came from.

The new Fair Fish app, which launches later this year on July 1, aims to change all that. 

As today’s front page story states, the app will not only change the way fishermen sell their catch and the way consumers buy it, but it will also help teach consumers and the general public about where their fish comes from, who catches it and which species are in season.

The idea is an adaptation of the community-supported fishing model, which closes the gap between producer and consumer – so how does it all work?

In basic terms, consumers and restaurants will prepay a subscription and in return receive a package of seafood each week.

Each week’s catch will include popular species and a secondary species, which can only be a good thing for sustainability. 

Including a secondary species in the delivery could also benefit the fishery long term by opening up a new market for a lesser-known but abundant species of fish, allowing fishermen to target a different species.

Local fisherman Hugh Bayly said in today’s story he decided the Fair Fish concept was something he wanted to be a part of for the social benefits. 

Mr Bayly said he wanted to be involved as Fair Fish was just as much about education as it was about selling fish.

Commercial fishers are not always seen in the best light, which could be due to the fact they share their catch with the recreational sector or because people just do not know enough about the sector.

Either way, Fair Fish should help close the gap in people’s knowledge of the fishery and will hopefully give the general public the access to the sector it needs to better understand how it fishery works. 

The model is also expected to make it easier for city restaurants to put Eyre Peninsula seafood on their menus.

While the EP’s seafood is already really well-known, this could help build on the ‘Seafood Capital’ status the region is so proud of and it puts the fishermen who catch it in the driver’s seat.